May 28, 2013 at 3:26 PMI’ve recently discovered what floats my boat. While individual practice fills the gap between technique and desired outcome, I found that I really prefer to play with others. Lessons have always been so much more fun when my instructor plays duet with me. I was chalking that up to his expertise and my thrill in finally playing a piece well enough to allow for collaboration; but this weekend I realized that isn’t the case.
I dithered about bringing my violin on the camping trip. Would I have time to practice? Would my campmates tolerate the noise? Do I really want people to hear me play? Am I brave enough to play in front of people? Is the weather going to cooperate? Could I avoid damage to the instrument?
In the end, I bit the bullet and packed my case. The thought of four days without touching the violin was too depressing not to bring it.
To my delight, I did find some downtime Sunday afternoon to play a little. I started with some simple tunes. My playing wasn’t perfect, but my friends said they were enjoying it. Soon, someone wandered in from another campsite to listen. He excused himself only to come back a few moments later with a viola and a music stand. I put some of my music up, and we started the first piece. He plays a good deal better than me, considering he had to translate to alto clef in his head, and together we played several pieces before we both had to leave for other activities.
I can’t even begin to express how satisfying that experience was for me. I loved the collaboration, and working to blend the sound. The experience pushed me and pulled me at the same time. This is exactly what I need and want from playing the violin. I can’t wait to do it again!
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